Kodi Bear gallops clear of the Celebration Mile field under Gerald Mosse
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Goodwood, Saturday
Doom Bar Celebration Mile (Group 2) 1m, 3yo+ colts and geldings
KODI BEAR followed up his Salisbury success with a clear-cut defeat of Gabrial, getting well on top inside the final furlong under Gerald Mosse to boost his Group 1 aspirations for later in the year.
Mosse gave Kodi Bear a memorable ride at Salisbury when dramatically switching his mount from one side of the track to the other, and was forced into a similar manoeuvre this time after Pat Dobbs took the front-running Fire Ship from the far side to the near-side rail three furlongs from home, bringing the entire field with him.
Mosse had been perched just behind Fire Ship so was quick to react and lost little ground in tacking over, but Kodi Bear briefly looked in trouble when hitting the front as dangers queued up behind him.
But the cucumber-cool French rider knew he was gripping plenty of horse in his distinctive white gloves, and when he asked Kodi Bear for an extra effort none of the others could go with him, as reflected in a winning distance of three and a quarter lengths.
Betfred cut the winner to 6-1 (from 10) for the Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, nominated by trainer Clive Cox as the winner’s end-of-season target, but Mosse wasn’t totally convinced his mount is at a level yet where he could challenge ante-post favourite Solow.
“He’s not there yet but I think he’s pretty close [to Group 1 class],” said the victorious jockey.
“He’s a lovely horse. He loved the ground and the distance was perfect. He was cruising and I had to take it up too soon which is not my style but he’s too good a horse.”
Cox once held 2,000 Guineas aspirations for the colt, only for a serious infection to rule him out of the Classic and threaten his life, so the manner of victory was extra special to the trainer, who rates Kodi Bear as the best he’s ever had in his care.
He said: “I’m really proud to have a horse of this quality on our hands. The way he’s moving in the right direction shows that we were not out of order saying that [he could be the best we have had]. He’s always had a lot of class, but he’s got an amazing temperament and he’s only just learning the job.
“The QEII is the logical step for him and he’s had a hard enough race today.”
It was a heartwarming triumph for owner Olive Shaw, widow to one of Cox’s first owners Dennis Shaw, who died two years ago.
She said: “This is the first horse that I have had since my husband passed away so it’s special [to win]. My heart is going boom boom and I can’t believe it. I think he has done really well, especially on ground like that.”
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